Oct 03, 2014
By: Sarah Marchal Murray, Senior Vice President
New Yorkers are breathing a sigh of relief this week having reclaimed the streets after a very busy week hosting, well, the world. Between the People’s Climate March, Social Good Summit, the Clinton Global Initiative, the UN General Assembly and Climate Summit, and the Global Citizen Festival any socially conscious person had the opportunity to learn from, get excited about, and engage in issues as they relate to our common experience.
In the past week alone, I had the pleasure of hearing three former U.S. Presidents share their takes on ending poverty in our lifetime, international music moguls share their views (and music) on rights and equity, and countless inspirational individuals share personal stories of their contributions to making the world a better more equitable place for us all. But after all these conversations, hashtags, marathon meetings, and departure of the influx of people, I was left contemplating, what will it all mean?
While I’m still digesting, I am certain of one profound take away: meetings are just the start, not the end.
What stands out and stays with me, is the inspiration derived from the stories of ACTION people took after becoming aware (whether from attending meetings just like these or other ways). For example,
- Roxanne Rahnama, a UC Berkeley student activist, shared how she first learned about the conflict mineral issue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) when she was in eighth grade. And after hearing and learning she was moved to start the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI)at her campus before becoming the national organizer for the overall initiative, partnering with Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, to discuss the private sector’s commitment to action and working with CFCI.
Direct Relief and Partners – Wellbody Alliance, Medical Research Centre, CDC, Last Mile Health, Christian Aid Ministries, Africare, Ministry of Health/National Drug Services in Liberia, Merck, Becton, Dickinson and Company – rallying quickly to take action together to airlift 100 Tons of Medical Aid Commitment to Ebola stricken communities in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Or
- Mark Siddall and Dr. Don Hopkins shared the Carter Center’s updateon the heroic efforts they’ve been waging on the path to elimination of guinea worm from 3.5 million cases in 1986 to just 85 today.
I’m honored to be a part of an organization that sees the value and merit of such international meetings for inspiring us all to find what moves us to act. For me, using my comparative advantage to help mobilize resources for a movement that is aiming to eliminate the five most preventable neglected tropical diseases has been an honor.
I’m humbled to know that our meetings and conversations have resulted in over 700 philanthropic investments (to date), allowing us to support our implementing partners and the ministries of health to treat over 40 million people this year, on pace to have treated over 100 million beneficiaries since our founding in 2012. I hope we can all see the value in that action. I’d be happy to have a conversation and try and convince you.